Building the ideal smartphone is a lot like flying a helicopter – it’s a delicate mix of complex inputs, and if you miss one little thing, you’ll end up in the fields. iQOO, ever since its inception, has read the smartphone market as ‘performance-focused’. Its latest contender, the Iqoo Z6 Pro, has been launched in a segment which is extremely cluttered—starting at Rs. 23,999, it still sticks to the core philosophy of speed over anything else, but is it enough to carve a place for itself in a space this competitive? Read on to find out our first impressions.
Iqoo Z6 Pro: The Unboxing Experience
The first frontier of getting to use any smartphone is the box. The Iqoo Z6 Pro ships in a black and yellow box with angular lines resembling the letter ‘Z’. Inside it, you find the regular suspects – a silicone case, booklet, smartphone, SIM ejector tool, an 80W charger, and a USB Type-A to Type-C cable. In addition, the smartphone has a pre-applied plastic screen protector.
Iqoo Z6 Pro: Pricing
The Iqoo Z6 Pro is available in three variants: The base model has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It is priced at Rs 23,999. There is also an 8GB + 128GB model, which is priced at Rs 24,999 and a 12GB + 256GB variant priced at Rs 28,999. I received the mid-tier variant with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. Along with the Z6 Pro, the Iqoo Z6 4G was also launched, which starts at Rs. 14,499.
Iqoo Z6 Pro: The hits
My first impressions of this smartphone started building up the moment I held it in my hand. It has a textured plastic back that is soft enough to not feel like sandpaper but coarse enough not to be slippery. The rectangular camera module takes up more than a quadrant on the top left corner. It comprises two circular protrusions and a pill-shaped flash module on the side. The first circle houses the 64-megapixel primary shooter, whereas the one on the bottom encloses an 8-megapixel ultrawide and a 2-megapixel macro camera sensor.
If you squint hard, you’ll see a cockeyed robot face forming with this setup. Still, it’s interesting to see smartphone makers experiment with how they can place three cameras not to make the enclosure look dull. And, of course, the camera bump does make the phone rock on the table when you press down upon it.
Moving on from the back to the middle, the plastic railing sticks out a little bit. This aids in how well you can grip the smartphone and pick it up when it’s resting on a surface. To the right of the railing, you’ll find the volume rocker and power button. I have relatively big hands, so I found the button placement to be satisfactory, and I also liked the tactile feedback.
At the front, you have a 6.44-inch AMOLED display with Full HD+ resolution and a refresh rate of 90Hz. Since it’s AMOLED, it offers good saturation and contrast levels. I ran about a 15-minute long Instagram session (you know, like most of us at work), and I was happy with how tall the screen was as well as the punchiness of colours.
Under the display, you have an optical in-display fingerprint scanner. It’s placed lower than most other phones, but I found the responsiveness to be surprisingly good.
Digging further into the surface of the phone, we find Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 778G 5G processor. As mentioned before, I have the 8GB/128GB variant with me. As usual, this phone also supports virtual RAM, so you can reserve a part of your UFS 2.2 storage to make it work as your RAM.
On paper, it’s robust, tried and tested SoC at this price point. The Galaxy M52, A52S and even the Iqoo Z5, the older sibling of the Z6 Pro, are powered by it. It is also helped by the liquid cooling system that Iqoo claims can cool down the CPU temperature by up to 12 degrees and surface temperature by up to 2 degrees.
So far, I have only used it mildly for about 4-5 hours, and the performance seems to be on tap in regular tasks. I also believe the variants are well spaced out, so everyone gets a part of the pie if they want some. I’m yet to load up some games and benches, so do wait for our full review of this smartphone.
The software too is up to my liking. This phone runs Funtouch OS 12 based on Android 12 with the latest security patch of April 2022. No silly icons or funky notification shades. It is a very functional UI with polish.
I like the consistency of colours while switching between the 64MP primary and 8MP ultra-wide cameras in terms of the camera. The UI is also intuitive and has most of the modes well within reach. I did take the camera to a nearby monument, and from the first impressions, it did impress me. But I’ll be analysing the results very soon in our review. I’m attaching a couple of camera samples so that you can have a taste of what to expect.
One strength of this smartphone seems to be its battery life. So, the headliners – 4,700mAh paired with a 66W charger. So far, the drain has been minimal, but that may be because I haven’t inserted my SIM in it yet. Stick around for the full review to find out the full battery test.
Iqoo Z6 Pro: The misses
Despite having an interesting texture at the back, the railing yields a non-premium vibe to the smartphone. For me, the in-hand feel of a smartphone is crucial, and something with me just wouldn’t click with it.
The display, though AMOLED, lacks the oomph when it comes to colours. The responsiveness of the display, too, was uninspiring when I first tried it out. I think they stung out a little bit here on the refresh rate, as this phone has performance as its USP and several smartphones with a lower price tag offer slightly better refresh rates.
Also, the U-shaped cutout spoils the aesthetics of the phone. It’s 2022, and even some lower-priced offerings have circular cutouts.
While I’m alright with the SoC of choice here, I feel that in order to prove the ‘Pro’ moniker, Iqoo should have gone for something that distinguishes the Z6 Pro from the vanilla Z5, which came out last year.
Further, the UI has a ton of bloat. Some of it may be useful to you, hey, they’re even including CRED in the mix, so you may get some rewards if you buy this phone on EMI. But, this did come in the way of my initial experience, so I recommend uninstalling or disabling the apps if you aren’t in for it.
The camera UI uses some funky fonts. Of course, this is me nitpicking, but it’s such a contrasting trait from the rest of the UI that it feels disconnected. The lack of OIS in any of the cameras also bothers me a little at this price point. However, EIS does make things better.
Iqoo Z6 Pro: Initial thoughts
So far, it seems like Iqoo has stuck to what it does best with the Z6 Pro – performance – be it in terms of the processor or charging. But, at the same time, it has an understated design that looks good, a decent UI and a well-spaced out configuration structure that brings an organic 12GB of RAM to a relatively affordable price tag of a rupee under Rs 29,000. I’m yet to try it out entirely, and I’m excited to see what the photography department offers, so do stay with us until we drop the final review.
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